What image do you conjure when you think of Hooters? If there’s one thing the iconic chain brings to your mind—even more than wings, beer, or sports viewing—it’s probably the skimpy uniforms the servers wear. Indeed those skin-baring garments (and the bodies inside them) are a major part of the company’s signature cheeky, suggestive brand. And that iconic orange-accented uniform is one of the main draws for many customers, too, who come to the restaurants to see the servers as well as to eat the food.
But a recent change to the uniform goes too far, say some servers—also known as “Hooters Girls.” And now that the eyebrow-raising rollout has gone viral, Hooters has weighed in with a response. Read on for a primer on the Hooters controversy that’s lighting up social media.
At some restaurants around the country, Hooters has supplied its servers with a new uniform—and it’s skimpier than ever. NBC News reports that the shorts, which were already short by any measure, were replaced with a tinier version that looks and feels more like underwear than outerwear, according to the servers who wear them.
In response to the move, multiple Hooters servers took to TikTok with their complaints. Some said they planned on wearing the shorts and would keep going to work. Others, whose videos got the most attention on the social platform, said they just might quit rather than go through with wearing the garments.
Skeptical about the wardrobe change, Hooters server and TikToker @ggnguyen posted a video titled, “What’s that supposed to fit?!?” In it, she holds up first the classic shorts, then shows off the teeny new garment for comparison against the caption, “Oh, I know it ain’t my new uniform shorts.” The video has been viewed over 18 million times and has more than 3 million likes.
Two different companies actually operate Hooters locations: Hooters of America and The Original Hooters group. Hooters of America introduced the new shorts in its Texas locations before distributing them more widely, according to NBC News, whereas locations operating under the Original Hooters franchise still use the old version.
A representative for the Original Hooters group told NBC News that its locations “will not be changing their iconic uniform of orange shorts and white uniform tops that has made the brand universally famous.”
Hooters of America said its new uniforms actually resulted from a collaboration with its so-called “Hooters Girls” servers and said the look had already “received overwhelmingly favorable reviews from both Hooters Girls and customers.”